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Advanced Placement or Transfer Credit

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Requirements CEEB AP Exams GCE A-Level IB Higher Level
MATH 1910 (required) 4 or 5 on BC A, B, or C on Math or Pure Math exams (1910 only) No Credita
MATH 1920 (required) Cornell Departmental Exam   No Credita
PHYS 1112 (required) 4 or 5 on mechanics portion of C; 5 on B with successful completion of a high school level calculus course A or B 6 or 7
PHYS 2213 (required) 5 on electricity and magnetism portion of C A or B 6 or 7
PHYS 1112 and PHYS 2213   A or B plus credit for MATH 1910 6 or 7
CHEM 2090b 5 B 6 or 7
CHEM 2090 and 2080   A 6 or 7
CS 1110 5 on A   6 or 7
Biology 4 Credits 4 6
Biology 8 Credits 5 A or B 7
1 First-Year Writing Seminar (2 req)

5 (English)c

A 7
For all other subjects, see Courses of Study or visit: ib international credentials 2011.pdf


  1. Students are encouraged to take the Cornell departmental examination during orientation.
  2. Students who obtain advanced placement credit for CHEM 2090 and are thinking of majoring in ChemE should consider enrolling in CHEM 2150. Those who are offered credit for CHEM 2090 and then elect to take CHEM 2150 will also receive academic credit for CHEM 2090. You may want to discuss this option with your faculty advisor.
  3. Students receiving a 4 on the CEEB AP English Literature and Composition exam or the CEEB AP English Language and Composition exam, a 6 on the IB Higher Level English exam, or a B on the GCE A-level English exam will be eligible for 3 credits, which may be applied toward the Literature and the Arts category in the liberal studies distribution requirement.

Transfer Credit

General Policies for Transfer Credit

  • Only courses that meet degree requirements for the undergraduate engineering program and are deemed equivalent in scope and rigor to courses offered at Cornell will be considered for transfer credit.
  • Transfer credit will only be awarded for courses offered by regionally accredited, degree-granting, postsecondary institutions.
  • A grade of at least C (not C-) must have been earned in the course being transferred; schools and departments may stipulate a higher minimum grade.
  • At most, 18 transfer or Cornell extramural study credits may be applied to engineering degree requirements after a student matriculates at Cornell. (Credit for summer and winter session courses taken at Cornell is not considered transfer credit, nor does it count toward the 18-credit maximum.)
  • Transfer credit will not be awarded for courses taken during a semester in which a student is enrolled at Cornell.
  • Transfer credit will not be awarded for cooperative courses taken while in high school, technical skills, or general knowledge acquired through personal experience, employment, or military training.
  • •Transfer credit will only awarded if/when the student has submitted a detailed course syllabus or outline, and a certified copy of the student’s official transcript from the host institution (photocopies are not acceptable). Current students must also submit a completed Transfer Credit Form. Incoming First-Year students submit a completed High School Credit Form.
  • Credit in excess of that awarded by Cornell for the equivalent course is never granted, nor will Cornell award more than the number of credits completed at another institution. (Transfer credits from institutions on a trimester or quarter system are not directly comparable to semester credits, and will be reduced when converted to semester credits.)
  • The final transfer credit award is recorded by the Engineering Registrar, 158 Olin Hall. Grades for courses taken at other institutions appear on the official Cornell transcript, but are not included in the Cornell cumulative grade point average.

Transfer Credit for Transfer Students

Transfer students entering as first-, second-, or third-year students may transfer up to 36 credits for each year spent in full-time study at another institution, provided that the courses are acceptable for meeting graduation requirements. No more than 72 total transfer credits (combination of those taken both before and after matriculation) may be used to meet graduation requirements. Transfer credits from institutions on the quarter system or trimester system are not directly comparable to semester credits. In general, the number of trimester credits or quarter credits will be reduced when converted to semester credits, and credit will not be given for more than 10 courses per year. Transfer credit awards for matriculating transfer students are evaluated and determined by the undergraduate Major representative in the student’s intended Major of study in engineering.

Transfer students transferring 12 to 23 credits are exempt from one PE course.

Transfer students transferring 24 or more credits are exempt from two PE courses and the swim test.

Transfer Credit to Fulfill the Math Requirement

If transfer credit is given for one or more of the first three math courses (1910, 1920, and 2930 or 2940), the total number of credits for these three courses must be at least 11; otherwise, another math course is required. Transfer credit given for the fourth, Major-dependent, math course must be at least 3 credits.

Transfer Credit for First-Year Students

Students who have taken a course or courses offered by an accredited college or university may wish to transfer the credits and apply them toward course requirements at Cornell.

During the summer months prior to arriving on campus, the Engineering Registrar’s office will work directly with students who indicate that they have taken college-level courses at another institution. These students will be provided additional information by email.

To be eligible to receive transfer credit the following must apply:

  • Students must have received at least a grade of C (not C– in the course, and the subject matter must be applicable to the Engineering curriculum at Cornell.
  • The Engineering Registrar’s office must possess a signed statement (High School Credit Form) from the high school guidance office certifying that the course was not used to fulfill high school graduation credit and that it was taught on a college campus by college faculty and attended by college students. Students who want credit for cooperative courses taken in high school must seek AP credit, not transfer credit
  • An official transcript must be received.
  • Transfer credit requests must be completed by the end of the first term of residence.

How to Use Advanced Placement or Transfer Credit

Advanced placement (or transfer) credit enables students to begin their college studies at an appropriate level in each subject. They generally profit from these options, but they must judge their own ability to handle a demanding academic program. The advisability of accepting credit depends on many personal factors, such as the extent of study skills, the activities students wish to engage in during their first year, and the thoroughness of their preparation. Whether to accept advanced placement—or take the corresponding course—is a decision for which the student, alone, is responsible.

AP or transfer credit can be used in at least three ways:

  • Enrolling immediately in a more advanced course in the same subject area, for example, second-term mathematics in the first term.
  • Substituting elective course work during the first year or subsequent year. However, students must meet the criteria for good academic standing.
  • Enrolling in fewer courses, using the credit to fulfill basic requirements. (To be in good standing, enrollment in at least 12 credits each semester is required.)

Further Information

For further information about advanced placement or transfer credit, contact Engineering Advising, College of Engineering, Cornell University, 167 Olin Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853-5201; telephone: 255.7414, email: